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The report responds to the findings of Leeds LGBT+ Mapping Projects’ research which found that racism was a priority concern for many in Leeds.
Leeds LGBT+ Mapping Project has conducted a short piece of research to scratch at the surface of BME LGBT+ experience in Leeds. This brief report is a summary of stories and experiences some LGBT+ BME people in Leeds shared.
What is captured here does not representative of the views of all BME LGBT+ people in the city, but highlights some strong and common themes that have surfaced through this community research.
The key messages from the report are:
- Many felt that LGBT+ communities in Leeds lacked ethnic diversity. Some BME LGBT+ people did not feel welcome or included in LGBT+ spaces and communities in the city. This related to both commercial LGBT+ spaces and more alternative LGBT+ communities.
- Experiences of racism on the commercial gay scene were common – much of this was sexualised racism.
- There was an expectation among some BME LGBT+ people that they would encounter racism in LGBT+ communities.
- It was important for BME LGBT+ people to be in community with other BME LGBT+ people.
- There are health and well being impacts of racism for BME LGBT+ people, that include loneliness, isolation and poor mental health.
- BME LGBT+ people are travelling to Manchester, Bradford and London to find more accessible and diverse LGBT+ communities. This suggests that despite the ethnic diversity of Leeds there is a lack of spaces and resources for BME LGBT+ people.
- We hope this document be a springboard for discussion on experiences of BME LGBT+ people in Leeds, and in particular experiences of exclusion, racism and Islamophobia.